A private member bill— The Terminated Employees (Welfare) Bill, 2020— was recently introduced in the Parliament. It proposes that if an employee is asked to leave due to reasons, such as a slump in the economy, political instability, technological changes, a court order, or if the business becomes insolvent, and so on, then the employee should be given unemployment benefits.
Introduced by MP Rakesh Sinha, the Bill seeks to provide an employee—who is not in any way responsible for being rendered jobless by the employer—unemployment compensation and health insurance benefits, or other benefits as prescribed by the Central government, for nine months or till he gets another job, whichever happens earlier.
Such a Bill is actually a necessity since there is no law that requires employers to provide timely terminal benefits or cover education and medical expenses of the families of employees who are laid off.
It is natural for employees to take loans for household needs or to put their children in good schools and maintain a certain standard of living, based on the income from their jobs. If the job is taken away from them for no fault of theirs, it is not fair for their families to bear the brunt in any way.
The Bill proposes to provide the terminated employees with assured income for nine months, which is considered sufficient time for them to find a new job.
Will the Bill ever be passed? We can only wait and watch.